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Martin fired, Cunneyworth interim coach for the rest of the year


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I have to say i'm surprised about this move. I'm happy to see that JM is out. I just hope Cunneyworth will allow our forwards to open it up a little more and attack. Let's be aggressive!

Watch Cammalleri score a hat trick tonight!!!

As far as the fact that Cunneyworth doesn't speak french...if the Habs do well under him, there shouldn'T be too many complaints. If the Habs struggle, there will be people who will bitch and moan!

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Check out the press conference to introduce Cunneyworth. Kinda odd, much praise heaped on Martin by Gauthier, then he fumbles, and without saying a word, Cunneyworth starts to talk. Wonderful, now I'm thinking like Cucumber. Maybe this move came from the top. And Cammalleri looks delighted by it all. That better translate into something from him on the ice.

Wow, that is unsettling. A very strange performance from Gauthier, at least at the start. He warms up to the theme later in the conference.

Many ways of reading that. Could be that he this was a Molson move, in which case it's bad. Could be that Gauthier felt forced to do this by player rebellion - which, based on Gorges's comment, is probably more likely - in which case his profuse thanks to JM and his apparently inability to properly introduce the new coach is a signal to those players that he is pissed off.

Or maybe he just isn't the greatest media performer. ^_^

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As far as the fact that COunneyworth doesn't speak french...if the Habs do well under him, there shouldn'T be too many complaints. If the Habs struggle, their will be people who will bitch and moan!

This. If Cunneyworth does a good job, it might change the outlook that the coach needs to be bilingual. I hope he does, it'll open doors for us in the long run if we don't need a bilingual coach.

As far as performance, I don't expect our GAA to stay the same and go down, no doubt Martin's style kept it lower than Cunneyworth will be able to. The one thing I am looking for is the determination and creativity to improve on offense. If it stays the same, Martin wasn't the problem, if our offense gets more creative, Martin was the problem. Player need to be having fun to perform well, if they were too constricted, they weren't having fun and bad play results.

On a side note, in the player interviews it sounded like Cammy is happy with the change, or could of been how I interpreted it. I know for a fact Kostitsyn is happy about it.

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"Meh" about the Martin firing, but I don't like the assistant GM with no coaching experience becoming a coach and basically spying on the players.

It really looks like Gauthier sent in an informant and while that may spook a few guys to buy in initially, ultimately it will lead to a paranoid and unpleasant dressing room and that's a shaky foundation to build on.

I think they sent a guy who can appease certain members (and I don't want to name more names, as these guys don't deserve the attention) of the French Press and do the press conferences in French for them (or help Cunneyworth with the French questions).

At the same time they put a guy there who certain members the French Media can't credibly claim that Cunneyworth should be fired and replaced with his assistant after every loss; even though they still might like to try. If they put a legit head coach candidate there, it would happen.

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Can you actually blame AK46 for being happy, given the crap that he had to endure from Martin over the past 1 1/2 years???

At least despite his struggles, Cammy still got his ice time and PP time.

This. If Cunneyworth does a good job, it might change the outlook that the coach needs to be bilingual. I hope he does, it'll open doors for us in the long run if we don't need a bilingual coach.

As far as performance, I don't expect our GAA to stay the same and go down, no doubt Martin's style kept it lower than Cunneyworth will be able to. The one thing I am looking for is the determination and creativity to improve on offense. If it stays the same, Martin wasn't the problem, if our offense gets more creative, Martin was the problem. Player need to be having fun to perform well, if they were too constricted, they weren't having fun and bad play results.

On a side note, in the player interviews it sounded like Cammy is happy with the change, or could of been how I interpreted it. I know for a fact Kostitsyn is happy about it.

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Eller will finally get some PP time.

If Eller gets any PP time, he better be standing at a urinal. He's been horrible at everything this year except maybe taking draws. Bad passes, giveaways. I'm chalking it up to the old sophomore jinx because he had a really good finish to the season last year. But he's got to be a lot better before he gets that kind of role on the team.

I also want to see more of Emelin and less of Diaz. Emelin was catching on pretty quickly, taking the body and playing smart and just gaining some confidence. Then when Campoli gets healthy, he's got to sit. You waited five years to get him over, get on a one-year deal and when he starts to play the way you want him to play, the play he needs to play, you sit him.

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I disagree. I think Eller just needs to pot a few to get his confidence up. Martin gave Darche enough chances on the PP and how much of an impact did he have???? Cammy has been given a free pass, how effective was he??? I think getting a chance on the PP, will give Eller more of a chance to score and once he pots a few, he should get the confidence he needs.

I think PG made a mistake last year, by not sending Eller down to the minors to dominate and get his confidence. Now, you really have to try and find a way to help Eller to get some confidence that he can finish.

If Eller gets any PP time, he better be standing at a urinal. He's been horrible at everything this year except maybe taking draws. Bad passes, giveaways. I'm chalking it up to the old sophomore jinx because he had a really good finish to the season last year. But he's got to be a lot better before he gets that kind of role on the team.

I also want to see more of Emelin and less of Diaz. Emelin was catching on pretty quickly, taking the body and playing smart and just gaining some confidence. Then when Campoli gets healthy, he's got to sit. You waited five years to get him over, get on a one-year deal and when he starts to play the way you want him to play, the play he needs to play, you sit him.

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Cammalleri has a longer NHL history to rely on, with Montreal and on other clubs. He may not be putting up points like he wants to, but his decisions and choices have been much better than Eller's lately. That's why he gets power play time. Play determines ice time, and Eller isn't doing enough to get that extra time, especially when the whole power play is struggling like it is.

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Cammalleri has a longer NHL history to rely on, with Montreal and on other clubs. He may not be putting up points like he wants to, but his decisions and choices have been much better than Eller's lately. That's why he gets power play time. Play determines ice time, and Eller isn't doing enough to get that extra time, especially when the whole power play is struggling like it is.

Fair enough, but when the coach was regularly giving a scrub like Darceh PP time, you don't think Eller deserved a chance???

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Fair enough, but when the coach was regularly giving a scrub like Darceh PP time, you don't think Eller deserved a chance???

Darche is averaging less than 1 PP minute per game. So it's not as if he was getting a ton of time. Granted, a large chunk of that came early on but still, his overall usage has been greatly overstated and exaggerated. That said, Eller probably should have seen at least some of that time.

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Fair enough, but when the coach was regularly giving a scrub like Darceh PP time, you don't think Eller deserved a chance???

I don't think Eller deserves any PP time based on his play over the last month or so, regardless of who else was getting time.

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Darche is averaging less than 1 PP minute per game. So it's not as if he was getting a ton of time. Granted, a large chunk of that came early on but still, his overall usage has been greatly overstated and exaggerated. That said, Eller probably should have seen at least some of that time.

With a guy like Darche, you can' t look at his average PP time. YOu have to look at the minutes he got in some games. There were games that he was getting close to 3 minutes - which is absolutely ridiculous!!!

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I am indifferent about the firing. The defensive style was getting a bit boring, but I would buckle up for some crazy odd man rush hockey. Martin was the best thing that could have happened to Price. The defensive insolation was enough for him to get his game back. I just hope to see something of a system. Carbo style hockey was exciting but when it gets ugly, it gets very ugly. I am in agreement with CC here somewhat. Gauthier left a glaring whole in the roster and tried to make a push on defense with 4 rookie, 1 sophmore, 1 vet, and Gill. What did he expect was going to happen? I think that with the more experienced defense, they were improving and would have won with Martin too. The fact that the vets were playing so poorly is unsettling and is reason enough to let him go. A very promising move is the naming of a head coach who does not speak french. This allows a lot more options when a head coach is selected. Having a Francophone assistant will help with this. I also did not like a lot of individual decisions that Martin made. A lot were strange. I still stand behind the fact that Martin never had a full roster ever, and was given an average team and Price. Overall he helped the team produce above average results. Markov and Price are the only players on the team close to elite. He was missing Markov for most of his tenure. Martin was one of the better coaches this team has had in the last 15 years. Hopefully they find someone of quality to replace him.

Good luck Jacques and thanks for lots of good hockey.

I am not smart enough to offer much in the way of criticisms on strategy or overall approaches with the players. If the room had heard it all before and wasn't moving , then maybe that's just the nature of the game.

I'm sorry for him because a firing is a public humiliation, and I think he is a good coach.

That said, I'd have been happy to have given Muller a shot.. but I don't really know a damned thing about it.

I'm not bilingual but unless there is a clear advantage to be had with an angolophone coach, I would be happier with a French coach.

Perhaps we can imagine after game interviews in broken english with at thick Russian accent as we watch. Its a comfort thing.

It will be interesting to see how things develop from hereon forward.

Especially cuz I dont know nuthin.

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Well, I am surprised, but it tells me they were not that happy with JM, but really had no replacement. Firing a coach with no real replacement tells me they simply couldn't wait. I suspect many players were not happy and it showed. All our vets were sucking while some kids were benched after getting key goals. I am not sure who would be happy on the team.

I watched the replay this morning of the 2009 semi-final world jrs. and Subban looked like a different player. He was given complete license to go on the attack and it broke the other teams defensive system even if Subban just dumped it in. The other team were always afraid he was going all the way. While some of this needed to be tempered, he clearly is afraid to open up now.

I don't think this is going to fix our team, but it was something on the "to do" list for a real contender. I will wait to see who we hire before I get too excited.

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I agree, I'd like to see Subban open up his game a little more. He isn't rushing enough right now.

That said, the player he was in junior is not gonna work in the NHL, and there isn't a single defenceman in the entire league who plays like that. The things that work in junior don't always work in the NHL.

There needs to be a happy medium where he rushes but he picks his spots at the same time.

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I agree, I'd like to see Subban open up his game a little more. He isn't rushing enough right now.

That said, the player he was in junior is not gonna work in the NHL, and there isn't a single defenceman in the entire league who plays like that. The things that work in junior don't always work in the NHL.

There needs to be a happy medium where he rushes but he picks his spots at the same time.

I'd like to see Subban at least rush as much as Letang - I think he has the potential to be a MUCH better player then Letang is.

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JM was trying to make Subban a complete player. In other words, he was doing his damned job. If a new coach comes in and tells Subban just to wing it out there, he will be doing PK a disservice, not to mention the Habs.

I agree, just think a little looser on the leash would be a good thing.

Like I said, it can't go to the extreme of what he did in junior but he can also rush slightly more.

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Cunneyworth's intro press conference doesn't inspire any confidence in him. He seems like an elementary school phys ed teacher that gives skinny eight year olds pep talks when their class plays knuckleball.

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It's not going to matter much who the coach is. Bouman, Keenan and Sutter couldn't get these guys motivated. Here are the issues facing the team,

1. They are soft, small and cant win any 1 on 1 battles

2. The have no character, leadership and they don't standup for eachother. Good teams stand up for eachother

3. Vets and high priced players are ALL underacieving.

4. The defense can barley hit the net or clear the front of there own net. There best physical prospect starting to do well then moved to the other side.

5. The offense is non-existant, how many times does Pleks skate behind the net and tuern it over per game.they are so predictable.

6. It's a minor problem IMO, They Play Price way too many games in a row. He seems to wear down after 5 or 6 in row. Not his fault, typically the only player who shows up every night.

Solutions to the problem? They have to move some people, regardless of PG saying they are a playoff team, they simply aren't.

Pleks will get you the most return, a big young center probobly a pick as well.

Gomez and Kaberle will be bought oput i'm sure, they'll have a buyout period i'm sure.

1 of Gionta and Cammy should be moved. Cammy i assume would get you the bets return

Gill, Campoli, Weber should all be moved. Move Emelin back to the LD.

They need to get tougher ASAP, White will help Nokelienen, Then they need to add a gritty Big LW to play with them who can fight a little.

They have a solid line Cole. DD. Pacs

They have Eller, Leblanc who have some chemistry. other than that, they don't have much. Subban (awfull this year, proably playing too much) Emelin are good D prospects. I like Gorges, but not enough to buold a tema D around or over pay them.

I guess the good news they are well on there way to a lottery pick

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It's not going to matter much who the coach is. Bouman, Keenan and Sutter couldn't get these guys motivated. Here are the issues facing the team,

1. They are soft, small and cant win any 1 on 1 battles

2. The have no character, leadership and they don't standup for eachother. Good teams stand up for eachother

3. Vets and high priced players are ALL underacieving.

4. The defense can barley hit the net or clear the front of there own net. There best physical prospect starting to do well then moved to the other side.

5. The offense is non-existant, how many times does Pleks skate behind the net and tuern it over per game.they are so predictable.

6. It's a minor problem IMO, They Play Price way too many games in a row. He seems to wear down after 5 or 6 in row. Not his fault, typically the only player who shows up every night.

Solutions to the problem? They have to move some people, regardless of PG saying they are a playoff team, they simply aren't.

Pleks will get you the most return, a big young center probobly a pick as well.

Gomez and Kaberle will be bought oput i'm sure, they'll have a buyout period i'm sure.

1 of Gionta and Cammy should be moved. Cammy i assume would get you the bets return

Gill, Campoli, Weber should all be moved. Move Emelin back to the LD.

They need to get tougher ASAP, White will help Nokelienen, Then they need to add a gritty Big LW to play with them who can fight a little.

They have a solid line Cole. DD. Pacs

They have Eller, Leblanc who have some chemistry. other than that, they don't have much. Subban (awfull this year, proably playing too much) Emelin are good D prospects. I like Gorges, but not enough to buold a tema D around or over pay them.

I guess the good news they are well on there way to a lottery pick

Good gravy, I don't know where to start! While I do get why you feel this way, I think you're overly pessimistic. This team isn't much different (I'd argue better) than the one that beat the Caps and Pens a couple of years ago. They've just worked themselves into such a corner, they can't even breathe let alone play.

As for your points...

1) They're bigger than they have been in a decade and have more players who can win one-on-one than any Habs team since the 90's.

2) I believe the do have character and leadership, but it may have been stifled by Martin lately. Gorges, Gionta, Gill, all really good leaders. I also think they have far more character than most give them credit for, but when you're asked to tow the line and show no creativity or individuality, that character can be smothered.

3) Vets ARE expensive and at the moment, you're 100% correct that they're ALL underachieving.

4) Subban can hit just fine, he's just been told to stop. Gorges doesn't hit, per se, but he's exceedingly effective at using his body to separate puck from carrier.

5) The offence is stifled beyond belief. There's no room for creativity, no concerted attack. They've been taught to worry first about defence.

6) Price is exhausted, I think, and isn't at his best. He's just above average now, not brilliant.

I do agree some moves need to be made. I don't agree this isn't a playoff team. We're skirting the playoffs now and we've been devastated by injury. We also haven't played well at all in a while since the team gave up on Martin - read Gorges sound bytes for more on that.

  • Plex has an NTC - I doubt he's moved.
  • Gomez may very well be bought out. He also may be buried. (For those that disagree, Molson also gave Martin and Gauthier the vote of confidence kiss of death.)
  • I suspect Cammi would be the one moved, if either are shuffled. He's in endless rumours right now (which are close to meaningless), however the fact he's in so many may indicate the presence of fire near all that smoke.
  • Gill's contract ends at the end of the year. If Emelin continues his progression, I would suggest Gill won't be re-signed. Campoli's contract also ends. I doubt highly he's re-signed. I can't see Weber here past the trade deadline.
  • With White returning, they do need one other player for that fourth line. See: Weber.

Subban hasn't been remotely close to awful this season. While he's been restrained, he's also learned one helluva lot about defence, and while he's played too much - I agree, his overall game has improved considerably. Once he's let out of the cage a little, I suspect we'll see a much better overall defender.

If they get a lottery pick, then this team will have collapsed in colossal fashion. Again, I respect where your pessimism comes from, but when they get a little confidence and are allowed to play a little hockey, I suspect you'll see an entirely different team. This is a group, I believe, who, when they put it together, can string more than a few wins in a row.

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Buy out Gomez? How many cheques do we expect Molson to cut? I believe Martin is guaranteed another 3.5 million. Add to that Cunneyworth get's a big raise. 10 million for Gomez, and 10 million for Kaberle. Not happening. These are ball park figures, and someone can correct me if they like, but these players are owed guaranteed mega bucks.

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Buy out Gomez? How many cheques do we expect Molson to cut? I believe Martin is guaranteed another 3.5 million. Add to that Cunneyworth get's a big raise. 10 million for Gomez, and 10 million for Kaberle. Not happening. These are ball park figures, and someone can correct me if they like, but these players are owed guaranteed mega bucks.

Martin will be hired long before Molson has to pay him the $3.5M. Gomez is the only one who may be bought out. Kaberle is probably a keeper, and a solid one, at that. He may not be the best defensive guy, but how many points does he have since coming over? How's our PP doing with him as compared to without? While the team is looking brutal, I have to say I'm pretty impressed with Kaberle so far. He's the tonic the PP needed and, when insulated, is an adequate rear-guard.

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